Who we are

The Society for Applied Microbiology is the oldest microbiology society in the UK, serving microbiologists around the world, and in partnership with Wiley, publishes five internationally acclaimed journals.

As the voice of applied microbiology, SfAM’s core vision is to drive improvements in the applications of microbiology so they contribute to addressing the significant challenges facing humanity. Our values include equality, diversity and inclusivity, collaboration to amplify impact, scientific integrity, evidence-based decision-making and political neutrality.

Our members are at the heart of our Society, working and studying in organisations across the world. We draw on their unique knowledge and expertise to help shape future activities and develop evidence-based policy in our priority areas of microbiology, both in the UK and across the globe.

SfAM values integrity, honesty, and respect, and seeks to promote excellence and professionalism and to inspire the next generation of microbiologists.

The Society is managed in participatory way by the members through an Executive Committee which is supported by a team of administration staff:

Who's who


Executive Committee

The Executive Committee (EC) is SfAM’s governing body, which comprises thirteen trustees, each of whom are responsible for the successful running of the organisation. The EC meets three times a year and is the only decision-making body of the Society: it develops and oversees the progress of SfAM’s strategy, defines policy, agrees the Society’s business plan and monitors the progress of all of SfAM’s activities.

Along with the Chief Executive of the Society the EC ensure the effective management and custody of all SfAM assets as they are used to deliver the Society’s charitable objectives.

All decisions taken by the EC are reported to Members at the AGM. 

  • Mark Fielder image

    Mark Fielder

    President

    Mark began his career at the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath where he became a trainee Biomedical Scientist. He completed a Microbiology degree at Kings College, London and followed that with a PhD in Microbiology and Immunology, working on bacterial causes of rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. Following this he won the Tadion Rideal prize for outstanding post-graduate work in molecular science. Mark then moved on to St George's Hospital medical school to work with Professor David Lewis and Professor George Griffin on the use of Cholera toxin and the heat labile toxins of E. coli as adjuvants for mucosal vaccines. Following this, he became a Lecturer at Kingston University which is where he is currently based and in 2011 became Professor of Medical Microbiology.

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  • Clare Taylor image

    Clare Taylor

    General Secretary and Chair of the Policy Subcommittee

    Clare has been a Society member since 1997, when she was a PhD student at the University of Manchester. She is currently a Senior Lecturer in Medical Microbiology at Edinburgh Napier University, where she is also Head of Student Experience and Employability in the School of Life, Sport & Social Sciences. The main focus of her research is on understanding host-microbe interactions, particularly of intracellular bacteria that cause human infection, and the aims of her research are to understand how bacterial gene expression is modulated in response to the host environment, and how this contributes to microbial pathogenicity. Clare is also involved in several multi-disciplinary projects and the applied aspects of her research include developing novel antimicrobial strategies. She has a keen interest in public engagement, including performing at Edinburgh Fringe, and also chairs the University’s Public Engagement Forum. Clare is active in encouraging women into science working alongside colleagues across STEM disciplines and Equate Scotland. Clare served on the Executive Committee of the Society from 2010 – 2014 and is also a Features Editor for Microbiologist.

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  • Ian Feavers image

    Ian Feavers

    Meetings Secretary

    Ian studied for his PhD at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, eventually moving to NIBSC after periods of postdoctoral research in molecular genetics at the University of Sheffield and the Friedrich Miescher Institut in Basel. During the late 1990s, when new conjugate vaccines were being introduced, he headed the laboratory responsible for the control and standardisation of meningococcal and pneumococcal vaccines. Ian continues to oversee an active research programme on the molecular genetics and immunology of meningococcal antigens. Because of his broad experience of bacterial vaccines and molecular biology, he has been closely involved with a number of meningococcal vaccine developments. He regularly contributes to WHO and EU guidelines, has been an advisor to the International Vaccine Institute’s typhoid conjugate vaccine initiative, and serves on the PHE’s invasive bacterial diseases forum. He is one of NIBSC’s observers on Joint Vaccination and Immunisation Committee (JCVI) and a member of the JCVI subgroups on meningococcal and pneumococcal vaccines. He is a former editor of the Journal of Applied Microbiology and is currently an associate editor of Human Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics. He has over 100 publications most of which are peer reviewed research papers. Ian teaches on vaccine related courses in the University of London and at the University of Surrey, and is a Visiting Professor at Imperial College.

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  • Tim Aldsworth image

    Tim Aldsworth

    Committee Member

    Tim’s first degree was a BSc in Microbiology from the University of Glasgow. After a one year stint as a postgraduate research assistant at Oxford University, Tim returned to the University of Glasgow to undertake a PhD studentship developing an in vitro model for biofilm development in the Dental School. Having completed his PhD studies, Tim moved to the University of Nottingham to take up a Postdoctoral Research Associate position with Gordon Stewart and the Food Microbiology group there. Over an 11 year career with the Food Microbiology group at Nottingham, Tim undertook a variety of research projects with both Gordon and with Christine Dodd, before being appointed as a temporary Lecturer in Microbiology. In 2007 Tim moved to the University of Hertfordshire to take up a Senior Lecturership in Biotechnology. Since 2012 Tim has been Senior Lecturer in Biotechnology at Coventry University, with M-level tutor responsibilities. Tim has research interests in biofilm development, and novel methods to prevent or interfere with this process. In addition, Tim is interested in population diversity and the interaction between this and environmental conditions. Tim first joined the Society for Applied Bacteriology, as it was then, in 1989 and has been an enthusiastic member since.

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  • Linda Thomas image

    Linda Thomas

    Committee Member

    Linda began her career at the Central Public Health Laboratories Colindale (now PHE) where she worked on serotyping schemes for enteric pathogens, and investigated the virulence of enterotoxigenic E. coli. After completing her PhD there, she moved to Wales with her family and began postdoctoral research at Cardiff University, investigating (among other things) food safety models and lactic acid bacteria. This resulted in a move to Danisco, where she became Principal Senior Scientist leading a team developing novel natural antimicrobial food preservatives. Her current role as Science Director for Yakult UK Limited involves supervising the company’s collaborative research at UK universities and hospitals, in a broad range of areas including gastrointestinal disorders, liver disease, immunology and infectious disease. She also directs a programme of communication to healthcare professionals about the science of probiotics, and heads the PR department.

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  • Mike Dempsey image

    Mike Dempsey

    Committee Member

    Mike’s interest in microbiology began when he was about 10 and his grandmother bought him a toy microscope. Thanks to an inspirational teacher, he did a specialist A-level unit in microbiology at De la Salle College, Salford, but it was not until he reached university that he really became interested in the subject. Following a highly successful MSc in Biodeterioration of Materials under the charismatic Gareth Jones, Mike stayed on at Portsmouth Polytechnic to do a PhD in marine bacterial fouling. This project was funded by Hempel Marine Paints and kicked off with a course on antifouling paint technology in Copenhagen, the company’s headquarters. It also involved an interesting evening with the marine testing station staff, sampling local fermentation products! Mike went on to use adhesive yeast and bacteria in the development of a fluidized bed fermenter for fuel ethanol production as a Postdoc in Bernard Atkinson’s inspiring Biochemical Engineering Group at UMIST. Following appointment as a Lecturer in the burgeoning Biology Department at Manchester Polytechnic, Mike designed a new Fermentation Laboratory and continued his research on fuel ethanol production. Due to waning interest in fuel Mike switched his interest to enzyme, antibiotic, and plant secondary metabolite production. Later, Mike instituted a project to develop an expanded bed biofilm reactor to nitrify wastewater treatment plant effluents as a tertiary treatment. The success of this project led to the incorporation of a spin-out company, Advanced Bioprocess Development Ltd. (ABD), which now has a full-scale prototype operated at a UK water company site by a Licensee. Mike joined SfAM in 2008 and the Meetings Subcommittee in 2010, to help develop the environmental microbiology area of the Society.

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  • Stephen Forsythe image

    Stephen Forsythe

    Committee Member

    Professor Forsythe's career has included both academic and industrial research and development, as well as regulatory and advisory roles. His research has encompassed conventional microbiology (physiology and biochemisty), through molecular profiling, to full genome analysis.

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  • Simon Gould image

    Simon Gould

    Committee Member

    Simon started his career in microbiology at CPA laboratory, a small independent food and water analytic lab whilst at college and it was here that he developed an interest in microbiology. Simon then completed both a BSc and MSc in Biomedical Science at Kingston University, followed by a PhD at the same institution, working on examining the characteristic between clinical isolates of methicillin resistant - and -sensitive Staphylococcus aureus collected from both UK and Maltese hospitals. Simon then carried out a three year post-doc with Professor Declan Naughton and Prof. Mark Fielder on the antimicrobial property of natural product and copper against a range of clinical important bacteria. In 2009 he started as lecturer at Kingston University and became senior Lecturer of Microbiology in 2011.

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  • Sally Cutler image

    Sally Cutler

    Committee Member

    Sally's passion for microbiology started with a BSc degree course from University College London from which she graduated in 1981. Sally then worked in diagnostic bacteriology laboratories at The Royal London and Stoke Mandeville Hospitals before moving into a research role on Lyme borreliosis based at Charing Cross Hospital (now part of Imperial College London). Whilst in this post, Sally obtained her PhD in 1992 through part-time study. She continued her postdoctoral research on spirochaetes but switching towards those causing relapsing fever. Following these studies Sally was awarded the W H Pierce Prize in 1994. Sally subsequently moved to the Veterinary Laboratories Agency, Weybridge in 2002, where she broadened her research interests to include other bacterial zoonoses such as Brucella, Leptospira, and Coxiella. From this post she has moved into academia in 2007, where she currently holds a Readership in the School of Health and Bioscience at the University of East London. She additionally serves as an associate editor for Clinical Microbiology & Infection and for Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases, as a member of the IBMS Virology Advisory Panel, and on the IBMS London Regional Panel. Her research interests are still largely focussed upon spirochaetes and bacterial zoonoses, particularly those with an impact upon developing countries. Sally has been a member of SfAM since the days when it was the Society for Applied Bacteriology. She currently serves on the Meetings Subcommittee and has been a regular participant at SfAM meetings for a number of years, both as a presenter and member of the audience.

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  • Claire Hill image

    Claire Hill

    Committee Member

    Claire first started her career in microbiology in 1992 when she joined Dorchester PHLS as a Trainee MLSO. Claire then gained a BSC (Hons) degree in BioMedical Science through the block release scheme over 4 years at UWE Bristol. During her last year she presented her final year project “ELVIS – is alive!” (Enzyme Linked Viral Inducible System) at Warwick PHLS Conference & IBMS Congress. It was during this time that she was drawn towards the commercial microbiology market & not long after took the position of Technical Representative at Pro-Lab Diagnostics, covering the South West territory. Some years later she met her Geordie husband and went back into the lab for Public Health England (Newcastle), gaining her valuable experience in Molecular Diagnostics, Serology, Infectious Diseases, GUM Medicine and Parasitology. Claire was called back into the corporate world in 2006 when MWE approached her for the specially created position of Technical Sales Executive. She was later promoted to Clinical Product Manager at MWE in 2010. MWE are a corporate member of SfAM and Claire herself, an active member of SfAM. Although attending numerous meetings as a valued corporate member she tries to sneak into lectures when she can. During her time at MWE she has travelled significantly, visiting many countries, attending many interesting conferences/meetings/events and has been privileged to make some great lasting contacts. Her career and involvement with SfAM continues to grow, so watch this space.

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  • Elaine Cloutman-Green image

    Elaine Cloutman-Green

    Committee Member

    Dr Elaine Cloutman-Green has worked as a Clinical Scientist since 2004. In 2015 she completed a PhD under the NIHR CSO Doctoral Fellowship scheme and her research on prevention of healthcare associated infection led to an NIHR ICA Clinical Lectureship award in 2016. In 2015 she was appointed the first UK based International Ambassador for the Society of Healthcare Epidemiology of America. In 2016 she became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Royal College of Pathologists and was appointed as a NICE Expert. She represents Healthcare Scientists as part of the ACB, and as Country Ambassador for the American Society of Microbiology.

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  • Lucy Harper image

    Lucy Harper

    Chief Executive

    After completing a BSc in Medical Biochemistry at Birmingham University, Lucy worked in hospital laboratories and university departments across the West Midlands. In 2003 she completed a PhD entitled: "Renal Dopamine and Salt-Sensitive Hypertension" and continued her research career, completing several postdoc projects. During this time, Lucy also taught molecular biology practical classes to final year BSc students and spent her spare time writing articles for various publications. Through this experience she decided that her passion for science came from talking about it rather than doing it. She was offered the honorary Editorship of Microbiologist magazine and when her postdoc contract ended, she took the position of Communications Officer for Med-Vet-Net, the EU FP6 project on zoonotic disease. Lucy began working as Communications Officer for SfAM in June 2006. Since then, she has developed SfAMs Communications remit and in June 2009 she was promoted to Communications Manager. In 2010 Lucy was awarded a MBA with distinction, which she completed part-time at Aston University. After a period of maternity leave, Lucy returned to the Society as Deputy CEO, and was then appointed as Chief Executive in November 2014.

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  • Aled Roberts image

    Aled Roberts

    ECS Chair

    Aled completed his undergraduate degree in Microbiology (Cardiff University) in 2009 which included an industrial placement year with Pfizer’s Bioprocess Development Group at their European research headquarters. Aled then went onto complete a PhD in Microbiology in Prof. Rose Cooper’s lab (University of Wales Institute, Cardiff) in 2013, looking at the inhibition of Pseudomonas aeruginosa by manuka honey. During this period he became acquainted with various members of the ECS committee whilst attending both ECS and SfAM events. Aled went on to complete a Post-Doc in Dr. Steve Diggle’s lab in 2015, looking at the evolution of biofilms and their 3D-spatial structure before returning to Cardiff. He's currently looking into the effects of manuka honey on Cystic Fibrosis pathogens in Dr. Rowena Jenkins’ lab. Aled joined the ECS committee September 2014 as an events officer and became ECS Chair following the conclusion of the 2016 ECS Research Conference.

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Staff

The day-to-day operation of SfAM is delegated to the Chief Executive who is accountable to the President and General Secretary. The team are ultimately accountable to the Chief Executive, and each SfAM department is overseen by a designated Officer, to ensure continuity between the strategic direction, the operations and governance of the Society.

  • Lucy Harper image

    Lucy Harper

    Chief Executive

    After completing a BSc in Medical Biochemistry at Birmingham University, Lucy worked in hospital laboratories and university departments across the West Midlands. In 2003 she completed a PhD entitled: "Renal Dopamine and Salt-Sensitive Hypertension" and continued her research career, completing several postdoc projects. During this time, Lucy also taught molecular biology practical classes to final year BSc students and spent her spare time writing articles for various publications. Through this experience she decided that her passion for science came from talking about it rather than doing it. She was offered the honorary Editorship of Microbiologist magazine and when her postdoc contract ended, she took the position of Communications Officer for Med-Vet-Net, the EU FP6 project on zoonotic disease. Lucy began working as Communications Officer for SfAM in June 2006. Since then, she has developed SfAMs Communications remit and in June 2009 she was promoted to Communications Manager. In 2010 Lucy was awarded a MBA with distinction, which she completed part-time at Aston University. After a period of maternity leave, Lucy returned to the Society as Deputy CEO, and was then appointed as Chief Executive in November 2014.

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  • Ali Morse image

    Ali Morse

    VA to the Chief Executive

    Ali has been working as a VA for 3 years, after 8 years working for the Chief Executive of BBSRC. She supports Lucy Harper with all aspects of her diary and helps to co-ordinate meetings, events and anything else that is asked of her!

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  • Laura Lincoln image

    Laura Lincoln

    Events and Projects Manager

  • Chris Brown image

    Chris Brown

    Policy & Public Affairs Manager

    Chris developed his passion for the application of science to real life problems throughout his PhD study on the development of potential small-molecule therapeutics for the neglected tropical disease Leishmaniasis. Working at the interface of chemistry and parasitology gave him an insight into the importance of fostering interdisciplinary relationships to appropriately tackle prominent issues such as improving world health. It was during this period that Chris also kindled his interest in the vital role that public policy plays in this process. After completing his postgraduate project, Chris worked as a researcher at a healthcare public affairs consultancy, where he gained exposure to the fast-paced health policy environment. This experience reinforced his resolve to be involved in the science policy sphere, and subsequently he joined SfAM in October 2016, where he will support microbiologists across academia and industry in making their voice heard throughout the development and implementation of policy.

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  • Tina Sellwood image

    Tina Sellwood

    Finance and Grants Coordinator

    Tina has been working for membership associations for the last thirteen years in a Membership Services Manager role, during which time has been involved in a wide variety of areas. Tina has responsibility for the administration of grants and the day-to-day financial housekeeping for the Society.

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  • Paul Sainsbury image

    Paul Sainsbury

    Head of Communications and Business Development & Editor of Microbiologist

    Paul initially trained as a journalist and has over ten years’ experience in marketing and communications working for commercial companies such as Harrods and the Freeplay wind-up radio. His passion for science comms took him back to University and he graduated with a BSc First Class (Hons) in Chemistry where he studied the inhibition of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase in malaria parasites as part of his final year dissertation. He later gained a distinction in his Master’s degree at King’s College London in Analytical Toxicology where he worked on the synthesis and analytical profiling of novel monoamine neurotransmitter reuptake inhibitors. Paul completed a PhD at the University of Warwick entitled “Biocatalytic Valorisation of Lignin via Genetic or Chemical Intervention of Bacterial Aromatic Degradation Pathways” and has published a number of scientific papers and articles on his speciality of human and bacterial enzymology. Paul is responsible for the development and implementation of marketing, communications and membership strategies for the Society. He is also responsible for increasing the value of Member benefits through the development of key partnerships, digital platforms, public engagement activities and brand management. He also offers support to the SfAM's ECS Committee and Corporate Member Group.

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  • Luwam Mekonen image

    Luwam Mekonen

    Membership and Marketing Officer

    As SfAM's Membership and Marketing Officer, Luwam is the first point of contact for members. Luwam composes the e-bulletin, and official mailings, as well as handling incoming emails and calls on all aspects of the membership and other company activities. After graduating in Politics and International Relations, Luwam has been working within professional membership organizations, specializing in member communications and services. Luwam is also closely involved in developing the Society website, due to launch in 2018 with the aim of encouraging better engagement with our existing membership base.

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  • Abraham Glover image

    Abraham Glover

    Business Technology Manager

    Abraham as SfAM’s Business Technology Manager is tasked with ensuring that technologies we use in the Society deliver the best value for our Members. Operating with the key focus on utilising how technologies and its governance can support and enhance the way we work. Abraham’s experience spans both the public and private sector covering a range of roles from being a system’s engineer specialising in biometric facial recognition to service operations management of media applications for a Russell Group University. This experience of working with a range of peoples and professions enable Abraham to provide guidance and support to SfAM

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  • Stewart Cumiskey image

    Stewart Cumiskey

    Digital Communications Officer

    Stewart has a long history of working in the media, editing and writing for a variety of commercial and mainstream publications. Stewart's role as Digital Communications Officer makes him responsible for promoting the Society's activities and highlighting interesting content from the SfAM scientific journals through social media and promoting the expertise of our Members through our blog. Stewart has worked in both public and private sector communications and has extensive experience in a wide range of branding and comms techniques including creating podcasts, magazines and video campaigns. Stewart’s expertise in in writing for the web and hosting workshops that encourage a ‘digital first’ approach makes him the perfect addition to SfAM’s modern communications team.

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  • Kofo Balogun image

    Kofo Balogun

    Head of Human Resources

  • Tumi Ladele image

    Tumi Ladele

    HR and Recruitment Coordinator


There are several subcommittees and groups which provide specific guidance to the Executive Committee:


Finance Subcommittee

The Finance Subcommittee meets three times a year and is responsible for advising the EC on the application and use of resources, monitoring the Society’s planning process, reviewing the annual management accounts and annual financial accounts with the auditors and for recommending them for approval to the EC.

The subcommittee is chaired by the Treasurer, and its membership includes the Officers, the Chief Executive, two elected Members of SfAM and one representative from outside SfAM who brings specialist knowledge.

  • Mark Fielder image

    Mark Fielder

    President

    Mark began his career at the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath where he became a trainee Biomedical Scientist. He completed a Microbiology degree at Kings College, London and followed that with a PhD in Microbiology and Immunology, working on bacterial causes of rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. Following this he won the Tadion Rideal prize for outstanding post-graduate work in molecular science. Mark then moved on to St George's Hospital medical school to work with Professor David Lewis and Professor George Griffin on the use of Cholera toxin and the heat labile toxins of E. coli as adjuvants for mucosal vaccines. Following this, he became a Lecturer at Kingston University which is where he is currently based and in 2011 became Professor of Medical Microbiology.

    Read lessmore

  • Clare Taylor image

    Clare Taylor

    General Secretary and Chair of the Policy Subcommittee

    Clare has been a Society member since 1997, when she was a PhD student at the University of Manchester. She is currently a Senior Lecturer in Medical Microbiology at Edinburgh Napier University, where she is also Head of Student Experience and Employability in the School of Life, Sport & Social Sciences. The main focus of her research is on understanding host-microbe interactions, particularly of intracellular bacteria that cause human infection, and the aims of her research are to understand how bacterial gene expression is modulated in response to the host environment, and how this contributes to microbial pathogenicity. Clare is also involved in several multi-disciplinary projects and the applied aspects of her research include developing novel antimicrobial strategies. She has a keen interest in public engagement, including performing at Edinburgh Fringe, and also chairs the University’s Public Engagement Forum. Clare is active in encouraging women into science working alongside colleagues across STEM disciplines and Equate Scotland. Clare served on the Executive Committee of the Society from 2010 – 2014 and is also a Features Editor for Microbiologist.

    Read lessmore

  • Ian Feavers image

    Ian Feavers

    Meetings Secretary

    Ian studied for his PhD at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, eventually moving to NIBSC after periods of postdoctoral research in molecular genetics at the University of Sheffield and the Friedrich Miescher Institut in Basel. During the late 1990s, when new conjugate vaccines were being introduced, he headed the laboratory responsible for the control and standardisation of meningococcal and pneumococcal vaccines. Ian continues to oversee an active research programme on the molecular genetics and immunology of meningococcal antigens. Because of his broad experience of bacterial vaccines and molecular biology, he has been closely involved with a number of meningococcal vaccine developments. He regularly contributes to WHO and EU guidelines, has been an advisor to the International Vaccine Institute’s typhoid conjugate vaccine initiative, and serves on the PHE’s invasive bacterial diseases forum. He is one of NIBSC’s observers on Joint Vaccination and Immunisation Committee (JCVI) and a member of the JCVI subgroups on meningococcal and pneumococcal vaccines. He is a former editor of the Journal of Applied Microbiology and is currently an associate editor of Human Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics. He has over 100 publications most of which are peer reviewed research papers. Ian teaches on vaccine related courses in the University of London and at the University of Surrey, and is a Visiting Professor at Imperial College.

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  • Geoff Hanlon image

    Geoff Hanlon

    Finance Subcommittee Member

    Geoff graduated in 1975 with a degree in Pharmacy from what was then Brighton Polytechnic. Following pre-registration training at the Royal East Sussex Hospital in Hastings he became a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain in 1976. His interest in microbiology did not begin until he embarked on a PhD, again at Brighton Polytechnic, on endospore formation in Bacillus species. Having gained his PhD in 1980 he joined the academic staff at Brighton where he was a general dog’s body and taught just about everything. Over the intervening period Geoff has supervised 30 PhD students mostly, but not exclusively, in the area of microbiology. His research interests have centred on pharmaceutical microbiology and included infections associated with implanted medical devices; microbial biotransformation of xenobiotics; mode of action studies of biocidal agents and alternative strategies for infection control. Much of this work has had a commercial focus and the primary source of funding has been the pharmaceutical industry. He has published over 100 peer reviewed research papers and is co-editor of a text book on microbial standards and regulations for the pharmaceutical industry. For 10 years between 1980 and 1990 Geoff served as Secretary to the South East England Regional Committee of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. Between 1998 and 2001 he was a member of the Pharmaceutical Sciences Group committee of the RPSGB where he provided microbiological expertise. He is currently a member of the Chemistry, Pharmacy and Standards Expert Advisory Group to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency. Having been a member of SfAM for over 20 years Geoff joined the Executive Committee in 2003, became honorary Vice President in 2007 and President in 2008. He continues to serve on the Finance Subcommittee.

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  • Casey Early image

    Casey Early

    Finance Subcommittee Member

    Casey is a Fellow Chartered Accountant, having trained as an audit graduate with haysmacintyre. Prior to this he achieved an MSc in Financial Economics at Loughborough University. Casey is currently the Chief Operating Officer for the Physiological Society, having joined in 2003. Outside of work, he enjoys pubs, holidays in Spain and lots of cholesterol-rich food.

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  • Carol Phillips image

    Carol Phillips

    Finance Subcommittee Member

    Carol is currently the Chief Executive Officer of NCIMB Ltd. NCIMB Ltd is a specialist microbiology and chemical services company which holds the largest collection of bacteria with industrial or environmental applications in the UK. Before moving to the commercial sector Carol spent five years in the academic sector (Heriot Watt University, NAFC Marine Centre) supporting academic organisations to identify commercial opportunities from research activities and secure funding. Prior to this she carried out microbial ecology research on nitrifying bacteria at the University of Aberdeen and Michigan State University. Her PhD on the effects of Atlantic salmon farming on bacterial processes in marine sediments was carried at the Dunstaffnage Marine Laboratory (now SAMS) and University of Dundee. She has a BSc in Biochemistry from Glasgow University and an MBA from the Edinburgh Business School, Heriot Watt University. As well as the SfAM Finance Subcommittee Carol also sits on the Audit Committee for SAMS and is a past member of the SAMS Board and Council and Non-Executive Director of SRSL Ltd.

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  • Lucy Harper image

    Lucy Harper

    Chief Executive

    After completing a BSc in Medical Biochemistry at Birmingham University, Lucy worked in hospital laboratories and university departments across the West Midlands. In 2003 she completed a PhD entitled: "Renal Dopamine and Salt-Sensitive Hypertension" and continued her research career, completing several postdoc projects. During this time, Lucy also taught molecular biology practical classes to final year BSc students and spent her spare time writing articles for various publications. Through this experience she decided that her passion for science came from talking about it rather than doing it. She was offered the honorary Editorship of Microbiologist magazine and when her postdoc contract ended, she took the position of Communications Officer for Med-Vet-Net, the EU FP6 project on zoonotic disease. Lucy began working as Communications Officer for SfAM in June 2006. Since then, she has developed SfAMs Communications remit and in June 2009 she was promoted to Communications Manager. In 2010 Lucy was awarded a MBA with distinction, which she completed part-time at Aston University. After a period of maternity leave, Lucy returned to the Society as Deputy CEO, and was then appointed as Chief Executive in November 2014.

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Grants Subcommittee

The Grants Subcommittee makes recommendations to the EC and FS regarding the development and awarding of the Society’s grants portfolio. This subcommittee comprises the grants panel (President, Vice-President, Treasurer and General Secretary), the Chief Executive and the Finance and Grants Co-ordinator.

  • Mark Fielder image

    Mark Fielder

    President

    Mark began his career at the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath where he became a trainee Biomedical Scientist. He completed a Microbiology degree at Kings College, London and followed that with a PhD in Microbiology and Immunology, working on bacterial causes of rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. Following this he won the Tadion Rideal prize for outstanding post-graduate work in molecular science. Mark then moved on to St George's Hospital medical school to work with Professor David Lewis and Professor George Griffin on the use of Cholera toxin and the heat labile toxins of E. coli as adjuvants for mucosal vaccines. Following this, he became a Lecturer at Kingston University which is where he is currently based and in 2011 became Professor of Medical Microbiology.

    Read lessmore

  • Clare Taylor image

    Clare Taylor

    General Secretary and Chair of the Policy Subcommittee

    Clare has been a Society member since 1997, when she was a PhD student at the University of Manchester. She is currently a Senior Lecturer in Medical Microbiology at Edinburgh Napier University, where she is also Head of Student Experience and Employability in the School of Life, Sport & Social Sciences. The main focus of her research is on understanding host-microbe interactions, particularly of intracellular bacteria that cause human infection, and the aims of her research are to understand how bacterial gene expression is modulated in response to the host environment, and how this contributes to microbial pathogenicity. Clare is also involved in several multi-disciplinary projects and the applied aspects of her research include developing novel antimicrobial strategies. She has a keen interest in public engagement, including performing at Edinburgh Fringe, and also chairs the University’s Public Engagement Forum. Clare is active in encouraging women into science working alongside colleagues across STEM disciplines and Equate Scotland. Clare served on the Executive Committee of the Society from 2010 – 2014 and is also a Features Editor for Microbiologist.

    Read lessmore

  • Ian Feavers image

    Ian Feavers

    Meetings Secretary

    Ian studied for his PhD at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, eventually moving to NIBSC after periods of postdoctoral research in molecular genetics at the University of Sheffield and the Friedrich Miescher Institut in Basel. During the late 1990s, when new conjugate vaccines were being introduced, he headed the laboratory responsible for the control and standardisation of meningococcal and pneumococcal vaccines. Ian continues to oversee an active research programme on the molecular genetics and immunology of meningococcal antigens. Because of his broad experience of bacterial vaccines and molecular biology, he has been closely involved with a number of meningococcal vaccine developments. He regularly contributes to WHO and EU guidelines, has been an advisor to the International Vaccine Institute’s typhoid conjugate vaccine initiative, and serves on the PHE’s invasive bacterial diseases forum. He is one of NIBSC’s observers on Joint Vaccination and Immunisation Committee (JCVI) and a member of the JCVI subgroups on meningococcal and pneumococcal vaccines. He is a former editor of the Journal of Applied Microbiology and is currently an associate editor of Human Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics. He has over 100 publications most of which are peer reviewed research papers. Ian teaches on vaccine related courses in the University of London and at the University of Surrey, and is a Visiting Professor at Imperial College.

    Read lessmore

  • Lucy Harper image

    Lucy Harper

    Chief Executive

    After completing a BSc in Medical Biochemistry at Birmingham University, Lucy worked in hospital laboratories and university departments across the West Midlands. In 2003 she completed a PhD entitled: "Renal Dopamine and Salt-Sensitive Hypertension" and continued her research career, completing several postdoc projects. During this time, Lucy also taught molecular biology practical classes to final year BSc students and spent her spare time writing articles for various publications. Through this experience she decided that her passion for science came from talking about it rather than doing it. She was offered the honorary Editorship of Microbiologist magazine and when her postdoc contract ended, she took the position of Communications Officer for Med-Vet-Net, the EU FP6 project on zoonotic disease. Lucy began working as Communications Officer for SfAM in June 2006. Since then, she has developed SfAMs Communications remit and in June 2009 she was promoted to Communications Manager. In 2010 Lucy was awarded a MBA with distinction, which she completed part-time at Aston University. After a period of maternity leave, Lucy returned to the Society as Deputy CEO, and was then appointed as Chief Executive in November 2014.

    Read lessmore

  • Tina Sellwood image

    Tina Sellwood

    Finance and Grants Coordinator

    Tina has been working for membership associations for the last thirteen years in a Membership Services Manager role, during which time has been involved in a wide variety of areas. Tina has responsibility for the administration of grants and the day-to-day financial housekeeping for the Society.

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Policy Subcommittee

The Policy Subcommittee is responsible for guiding the Society’s science policy and public affairs engagement, ensuring that SfAM’s position on issues and activities align with the Society’s strategic priorities. This subcommittee advises the EC on current science policy topics and provides recommendations on the Society’s policy engagement activities.

The Policy Subcommittee meets three times each year and is chaired by the Society’s General Secretary. The subcommittee also comprises the Society’s President, Vice-President, ECS Policy Officer, elected Members of SfAM, the Chief Executive and Policy & Public Affairs Manager. Occasionally, an external policy adviser may sit on the subcommittee as an observer, to provide specialist guidance.

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    Clare Taylor

    General Secretary and Chair of the Policy Subcommittee

    Clare has been a Society member since 1997, when she was a PhD student at the University of Manchester. She is currently a Senior Lecturer in Medical Microbiology at Edinburgh Napier University, where she is also Head of Student Experience and Employability in the School of Life, Sport & Social Sciences. The main focus of her research is on understanding host-microbe interactions, particularly of intracellular bacteria that cause human infection, and the aims of her research are to understand how bacterial gene expression is modulated in response to the host environment, and how this contributes to microbial pathogenicity. Clare is also involved in several multi-disciplinary projects and the applied aspects of her research include developing novel antimicrobial strategies. She has a keen interest in public engagement, including performing at Edinburgh Fringe, and also chairs the University’s Public Engagement Forum. Clare is active in encouraging women into science working alongside colleagues across STEM disciplines and Equate Scotland. Clare served on the Executive Committee of the Society from 2010 – 2014 and is also a Features Editor for Microbiologist.

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    Chris Brown

    Policy & Public Affairs Manager

    Chris developed his passion for the application of science to real life problems throughout his PhD study on the development of potential small-molecule therapeutics for the neglected tropical disease Leishmaniasis. Working at the interface of chemistry and parasitology gave him an insight into the importance of fostering interdisciplinary relationships to appropriately tackle prominent issues such as improving world health. It was during this period that Chris also kindled his interest in the vital role that public policy plays in this process. After completing his postgraduate project, Chris worked as a researcher at a healthcare public affairs consultancy, where he gained exposure to the fast-paced health policy environment. This experience reinforced his resolve to be involved in the science policy sphere, and subsequently he joined SfAM in October 2016, where he will support microbiologists across academia and industry in making their voice heard throughout the development and implementation of policy.

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    Mark Fielder

    President

    Mark began his career at the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath where he became a trainee Biomedical Scientist. He completed a Microbiology degree at Kings College, London and followed that with a PhD in Microbiology and Immunology, working on bacterial causes of rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. Following this he won the Tadion Rideal prize for outstanding post-graduate work in molecular science. Mark then moved on to St George's Hospital medical school to work with Professor David Lewis and Professor George Griffin on the use of Cholera toxin and the heat labile toxins of E. coli as adjuvants for mucosal vaccines. Following this, he became a Lecturer at Kingston University which is where he is currently based and in 2011 became Professor of Medical Microbiology.

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    Lucy Harper

    Chief Executive

    After completing a BSc in Medical Biochemistry at Birmingham University, Lucy worked in hospital laboratories and university departments across the West Midlands. In 2003 she completed a PhD entitled: "Renal Dopamine and Salt-Sensitive Hypertension" and continued her research career, completing several postdoc projects. During this time, Lucy also taught molecular biology practical classes to final year BSc students and spent her spare time writing articles for various publications. Through this experience she decided that her passion for science came from talking about it rather than doing it. She was offered the honorary Editorship of Microbiologist magazine and when her postdoc contract ended, she took the position of Communications Officer for Med-Vet-Net, the EU FP6 project on zoonotic disease. Lucy began working as Communications Officer for SfAM in June 2006. Since then, she has developed SfAMs Communications remit and in June 2009 she was promoted to Communications Manager. In 2010 Lucy was awarded a MBA with distinction, which she completed part-time at Aston University. After a period of maternity leave, Lucy returned to the Society as Deputy CEO, and was then appointed as Chief Executive in November 2014.

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    Linda Thomas

    Committee Member

    Linda began her career at the Central Public Health Laboratories Colindale (now PHE) where she worked on serotyping schemes for enteric pathogens, and investigated the virulence of enterotoxigenic E. coli. After completing her PhD there, she moved to Wales with her family and began postdoctoral research at Cardiff University, investigating (among other things) food safety models and lactic acid bacteria. This resulted in a move to Danisco, where she became Principal Senior Scientist leading a team developing novel natural antimicrobial food preservatives. Her current role as Science Director for Yakult UK Limited involves supervising the company’s collaborative research at UK universities and hospitals, in a broad range of areas including gastrointestinal disorders, liver disease, immunology and infectious disease. She also directs a programme of communication to healthcare professionals about the science of probiotics, and heads the PR department.

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    Sarah Maddocks

    Policy Subcommittee Member

    An enthusiastic, self-motivated microbiologist and principle investigator with extensive expertise in the field of infectious disease, a good publication record and significant experience in the design, execution and management of research projects. Possesses excellent presentation skills and can prepare comprehensive documentation and reports as required. Experienced in data processing, is quick to grasp new ideas, technologies and concepts, and is skilled in a range of industry-standard software packages. Works well both independently and as part of a team, demonstrating the motivation and organisation required to meet demanding targets. Combines an analytical and professional approach with excellent interpersonal skills and can communicate concisely at all levels.

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    Joey Shepherd

    Policy Subcommittee Member

    Joey is a Lecturer in Microbiology at the University of Sheffield’s School of Clinical Dentistry. After graduating from Leeds University in 1995 with a BSc. in Microbiology, and the University of Sheffield with an M.Med.Sci. degree in Microbial Pathogenicity, Joey completed her PhD at the University of Sheffield in 2002. She then moved to Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA, to work for Prof. Peter Libby developing near infra red in vivo molecular probes. Joey returned to the University of Sheffield in 2007 as a PDRA, where she developed a 3D model of infected tissue engineered human skin, subsequently used in several further studies. Joey took up my first academic post as a Senior Lecturer in the Biomedical Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University in 2014, and was appointed to her current post in April 2015. Joey's research interests are largely translational in nature and lie primarily in novel approaches to a) the acceleration of wound healing, and b) detecting and treating bacterial infections without traditional use of antibiotics, including the use of polymer-based systems, ultrasound and acoustic vibration, novel wound dressings, and using 3D tissue engineered models to examine effects of infection and treatment on both bacteria and human cells. She collaborates with Sheffield Hallam University, Liverpool John Moore’s University, Bradford University, the LVPEI Eye Institute in Hyderabad, India, 11 Institutions across 8 European countries as part of a Horizon 2020 grant, and Smith & Nephew.

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    Christine Dodd

    Policy Subcommittee Member and President 2014-2017

    Christine's first degree was a BSc in Biological Sciences at the University of Leicester and she continued at Leicester for her PhD in Microbiology in the newly formed Microbiology Department. After research positions in the Universities of Durham and Newcastle upon Tyne, she came as a postdoc to the University of Nottingham in 1985, joining a newly revived Food Microbiology group in the then Faculty of Agriculture at Sutton Bonington. Christine was appointed as Lecturer in Food Microbiology in 1989 and after several promotions and site name changes was appointed Chair in Food Microbiology in 2006. She is now the Head of the Division of Food Sciences. Her research work is centred on ensuring the safety of the food supply and involves characterization of microbial populations in food products and production environments at the species and sub-species levels and examining the factors influencing their introduction and survival. Christine has a long association with the Society and was previously a Main Committee member from 1990-1993, and 2010-2013; was the local organizer for several conferences; and won the W H Pierce Prize in 1993.

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    John Threlfall

    Policy Subcommittee Member

    Since being awarded a PhD in Microbial Genetics in 1969, John Threlfall has worked in the UK Health Protection Agency (HPA) (formerly the Public Health Laboratory Service, now Public Health England) in a variety of roles. Most recently he served as Director of the HPA Laboratory of Enteric Pathogens from 2004 to 2008 and as Head of R & D in the Gastrointestinal, Emerging and Zoonotic Infections Department from 2008 to 2010. In 2007 he was appointed Project Director for the EU-funded Med-Vet-Net Network of Excellence, and continued in this role in the Med-Vet-Net Association until 2011. From 2010 to 2012 John was employed as Programme Manager for the HPA for the EU-funded EURLOP (EU Human Reference Microbiology Options Project) and ECDC-funded EU-LabCAT project, which were targeted at rationalising various aspects of human reference microbiology within the EU. The recommendations from these projects are currently being implemented. He was appointed to the European Food Safety (EFSA) Biohazards (BIOHAZ) Panel in 2009 and has recently been elected for a second three-year term of office. His principal interests are in antimicrobial drug resistance in bacterial zoonotic pathogens and the molecular epidemiology of food-borne zoonoses, and has published extensively in these areas.

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    Lucky Cullen

    ECS Policy Officer

    Lucky completed her undergraduate degree in Medical Biochemistry at Kingston University in 2014, where her passion for microbiology originated through summer research internships and a research scholarship funded by the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (BSAC). A recurring factor in all of her research was antimicrobial resistance including next generation sequencing techniques to identify antimicrobial resistance within the nasopharyngeal niche, pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm formation and the bacterial profiling of mastitic cows. Lucky progressed onto a PhD at Kingston University, where she is characterising the emergence of antimicrobial resistance through mutation mapping of the resistome. During her PhD Lucky has attended many ECS and SfAM conferences, as well as events such as Parliamentary Links Day. Lucky presented her research at the ECS Research Symposium in 2016, and was given the opportunity to present at the SfAM Antimicrobial Resistance Meeting. Lucky was recently awarded the SfAM presidency fund to present at the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) conference in New Orleans. TWITTER : @LuckyCullen

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    Andrew Miller

    External Advisor to the Policy Subcommittee

    Miller was first elected to the House of Commons at the 1992 general election. In Parliament, Miller has served on numerous select committees and served for four years from 2001 to the ministers at the Department of Trade and Industry. In 2010 Miller was confirmed as the first Chair of the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee to be elected by all members of the House. In 2005 he was confirmed as chairman of the House of Commons Regulatory Reform Committee. Since leaving Parliament Miller has continued to work in the area of science policy. He chairs the University of Chester, Thornton Science Park Advisory Board and the Engagement Advisory Board of the Grantham Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Sheffield. In November 2014 he was awarded an honorary DSc by the University of Chester and an Honorary Fellowship at Liverpool John Moore’s University in July 2015.

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There are also subcommittees and groups that serve as a liaison between the Executive Committee, staff and wider membership.


ECS Committee

The Early Career Scientists Committee meets three times a year and is responsible for providing the EC with the Early Career Scientists perspective on all the activities the Society takes forward. Members of the ECS Committee are represented on the Policy and Meetings Subcommittees and are in attendance at Executive Committee meetings. 

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    Aled Roberts

    ECS Chair

    Aled completed his undergraduate degree in Microbiology (Cardiff University) in 2009 which included an industrial placement year with Pfizer’s Bioprocess Development Group at their European research headquarters. Aled then went onto complete a PhD in Microbiology in Prof. Rose Cooper’s lab (University of Wales Institute, Cardiff) in 2013, looking at the inhibition of Pseudomonas aeruginosa by manuka honey. During this period he became acquainted with various members of the ECS committee whilst attending both ECS and SfAM events. Aled went on to complete a Post-Doc in Dr. Steve Diggle’s lab in 2015, looking at the evolution of biofilms and their 3D-spatial structure before returning to Cardiff. He's currently looking into the effects of manuka honey on Cystic Fibrosis pathogens in Dr. Rowena Jenkins’ lab. Aled joined the ECS committee September 2014 as an events officer and became ECS Chair following the conclusion of the 2016 ECS Research Conference.

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    Jennie French

    Vice Chair

    Jennie joined the ECS committee a year ago as the undergraduate representative while studying for her Microbiology degree at the University of Nottingham. She is currently studying for an MSc in Science Communication at the University of West England, Bristol and has recently become the Publications Officer for the ECS committee. While her interests are still firmly within microbiology, Jennie has begun to explore the theory and practice behind engaging audiences in public spaces such as science festivals and museums. Learning how to produce successful scientific radio and TV programmes similar to ‘Planet Earth’ is also a key part of her masters. During our recent events, Jennie has enjoyed meeting new people and learning about their research, Tweeting about the talks and posters and being able to report on the events in the ECS section of the society’s magazine ‘Microbiologist’ TWITTER : @jenniefrench95

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    James Williamson

    ECS Secretary

    James is currently a Post doc at the University of Warwick, focusing on engineering environmental bacteria for the utilisation of waste plant material, with an aim to produce high value products. As a PhD student at the University of Nottingham, his research centred on trying to integrate high value plant chemical biosynthetic pathways into carotenogenic members of the Enterobacteriaceae. His research interests include industrial biotechnology and synthetic biology. James joins the ECS after attending several of their events and observing how the group makes such a difference to the microbiology community. TWITTER: @JamesJW90

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    Lucky Cullen

    ECS Policy Officer

    Lucky completed her undergraduate degree in Medical Biochemistry at Kingston University in 2014, where her passion for microbiology originated through summer research internships and a research scholarship funded by the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (BSAC). A recurring factor in all of her research was antimicrobial resistance including next generation sequencing techniques to identify antimicrobial resistance within the nasopharyngeal niche, pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm formation and the bacterial profiling of mastitic cows. Lucky progressed onto a PhD at Kingston University, where she is characterising the emergence of antimicrobial resistance through mutation mapping of the resistome. During her PhD Lucky has attended many ECS and SfAM conferences, as well as events such as Parliamentary Links Day. Lucky presented her research at the ECS Research Symposium in 2016, and was given the opportunity to present at the SfAM Antimicrobial Resistance Meeting. Lucky was recently awarded the SfAM presidency fund to present at the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) conference in New Orleans. TWITTER : @LuckyCullen

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    Binod Rayamajhee

    ECS International Representative

    Binod Rayamajhee received his MSc in Medical Microbiology from Tribhuvan University in 2016. He taught biology courses for A level of Kathmandu University High School in Dhulikhel, Kavre, Nepal and has worked as research intern in Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Diseases Hospital, Teku, Kathmandu. He has been involved in organization of several national, and international conferences and workshops and has contributed more than a dozen of health-related articles in national daily newspapers of Nepal. His research interest includes, antimicrobial resistance, viral pathogenesis such as HIV/AIDS, host defence mechanism, drug discovery, and molecular diagnostics of infectious diseases. Currently, he works as a research faculty of infectious diseases at the Kathmandu Research Institute for Biological Sciences, a non-governmental non-for-profit organization dedicated to promote advanced health researches in Nepal. He is also involved as teaching faculty at National College, where he teaches research methodology and disease diagnosis courses to the MSc and BSc students of Tribhuvan University. Binod is planning for his doctoral degree in antimicrobial resistance in near future.

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    Allison Cartwright

    ECS Publications Officer

    Allison completed her undergraduate degree in Marine Science before carrying out a MRes studying freshwater crayfish at Ulster University, Northern Ireland. She's remained at Ulster University and is currently a third year PhD student. Alison's project combines environmental science and microbiology to study freshwater sponges in Ireland. Allison is a regular contributor to microbeblog.org the Society for Applied Microbiology blog.

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  • Hannah Brace-Thompson image

    Hannah Brace-Thompson

    ECS Undergraduate Representative

    A current undergraduate student at Edinburgh Napier University, Hannah is studying Microbiology and Biotechnology. After attending talks on the microbiome and workshops at the ASCUS Lab during the Edinburgh Science Festival in 2015, she decided to change her career from early years education to Microbiology. During the summer of 2017, Hannah worked in the laboratory of Dr. Rosa De Llanos, learning about and culturing yeast as well as working with Listeria monocytogenes in the model organism Galleria mellonella. She is interested in a wide range of Microbiology topics from the seeding of the human gut microbiome to microbial degradation of plastics and is looking forward to completing her degree and working in the field of Microbiology.

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    Jake Bell

    ECS Committee Member

    Jake joined the ECS committee in 2017 as the undergraduate representative, after attending the ECS Research Symposium and annual conference, observing the positive environment the Society creates for early career researchers. He recently completed his undergraduate degree in Human Nutrition at Kingston University, which included multiple summer internships in the microbiology laboratories. He also undertook a placement year at the Jodrell laboratory of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, working on plant-microbe interactions through various molecular methods. Jake is about to begin a PhD at Royal Holloway (University of London) under the supervision of Professor Paul Fraser, in plant and microbial molecular biology. Twitter: @_JakeBell1

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    Phillip Butterick

    ECS Committee Member

    Phil completed his undergraduate degree in Biomedical Sciences (Cardiff Metropolitan University) in 2013. Phil then moved on to work for the NHS pathology department specializing in microbiology. During his time there Phil has developed an interest in the isolation, identification and treatment of pathogenic bacteria and has seen the prevalence of antimicrobial resistant bacteria. Phil has since left the NHS employ due to his interest in the development of new antibacterial agents. Phil is currently completing his PhD in Medical Microbiology with Dr. Rowena Jenkins and in conjunction with industry partner Neem Biotech Ltd. The project aims to determine the effects of a novel new bacterial agent against Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Phil joined the ECS committee in January 2018 and hopes to raise the awareness of SfAM across all sectors that employ microbiologists and how they can assist people who are new to the field. TWITTER: @Micro_phil

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    Robert Millar

    ECS Committee Member

    Robert is currently a PhD student at the University of Warwick in his hometown of Coventry, trying to find new bacterial hosts for metabolic engineering on the degradation of lignin. Before this, he completed his undergraduate masters in Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry (University of Oxford) whilst being fortunate enough to be enrolled on the Erasmus program to complete his final year research in Marburg, Germany, trying to elucidate the formation of [4Fe-4S] clusters in the mitochondrion. Having worked with SfAM for 3 months as part of an internship in the first year of his PhD, Robert was determined to get back involved with the organisation, and so applied to be a member of the ECS committee. He is particularly interested in science communication and media, and hopes to be able to expand these skills in the near future. TWITTER : @ScienceMillar

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    Caleb Marsh

    ECS Committee Member

    Caleb recently completed his undergraduate degree in Medical Biochemistry at Kingston University and is about to begin a PhD at the University of Nottingham, in the field of Agriculture and Food Security. He will be selecting a title focused on Antimicrobial Resistance. Caleb has been passionate about AMR since first hearing about it while volunteering in a veterinary practice as a teenager. The importance of this issue was stressed to him and dictated his choices from that point on. He completed a summer internship assessing the antimicrobial properties of a novel coper containing fabric and in his final year dissertation project; optimising an on-site rapid diagnostic for Staphylococcus aureus in the Kingston microbiology lab. This confirmed his passion for microbiology and research. Whilst completing his undergraduate degree, Caleb enjoyed organising talks and events with fellow students. He hopes to continue this as part of the ECS committee, while continuing the effort to welcome new and current members to engage with ECS events. Twitter: @CalJMarsh

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    Temilola Olukayode

    ECS Committee Member

    Temilola completed his undergraduate degree in Marine Biology with an ecotoxicology specialisation at the University of Lagos, Nigeria. Having worked as a water quality analyst for a few years, he went on to earn an MSc in Environmental Monitoring and Analysis from Aberystwyth University. He is currently undertaking his PhD with the Freshwater Biology Research Group at Ulster University, studying the propensity of filter feeding freshwater invertebrates to facilitate the transmission of antimicrobial resistance genes in Enterococcus faecalis. Twitter: @temibambi

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    Lucas Walker

    ECS Committee Member

    Lucas completed his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry at the University of Sheffield in 2015, during which he worked on a number of different microbiology-focused research projects. After graduating, he worked as a research technician in a virology lab at UCL. Lucas is now undertaking his PhD at the University of Birmingham where he is looking at the regulation of infection and biofilm formation in Vibrio cholerae. During the first year of his PhD, he worked at SfAM for 3 months as a policy intern and was keen to continue supporting the work of the society thereafter.

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Meetings Subcommittee

The Meetings Subcommittee meets three times a year and is responsible for advising the EC on the themes, speakers and strategic alignment of all the Society’s scientific events. The committee is Chaired by the Meetings Secretary and comprises the President, Vice-President, General Secretary, elected members of the Society, the Chief Executive, Head of Communications and Business Development and the Events Manager.

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    Mark Fielder

    President

    Mark began his career at the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath where he became a trainee Biomedical Scientist. He completed a Microbiology degree at Kings College, London and followed that with a PhD in Microbiology and Immunology, working on bacterial causes of rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. Following this he won the Tadion Rideal prize for outstanding post-graduate work in molecular science. Mark then moved on to St George's Hospital medical school to work with Professor David Lewis and Professor George Griffin on the use of Cholera toxin and the heat labile toxins of E. coli as adjuvants for mucosal vaccines. Following this, he became a Lecturer at Kingston University which is where he is currently based and in 2011 became Professor of Medical Microbiology.

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    Clare Taylor

    General Secretary and Chair of the Policy Subcommittee

    Clare has been a Society member since 1997, when she was a PhD student at the University of Manchester. She is currently a Senior Lecturer in Medical Microbiology at Edinburgh Napier University, where she is also Head of Student Experience and Employability in the School of Life, Sport & Social Sciences. The main focus of her research is on understanding host-microbe interactions, particularly of intracellular bacteria that cause human infection, and the aims of her research are to understand how bacterial gene expression is modulated in response to the host environment, and how this contributes to microbial pathogenicity. Clare is also involved in several multi-disciplinary projects and the applied aspects of her research include developing novel antimicrobial strategies. She has a keen interest in public engagement, including performing at Edinburgh Fringe, and also chairs the University’s Public Engagement Forum. Clare is active in encouraging women into science working alongside colleagues across STEM disciplines and Equate Scotland. Clare served on the Executive Committee of the Society from 2010 – 2014 and is also a Features Editor for Microbiologist.

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    Ian Feavers

    Meetings Secretary

    Ian studied for his PhD at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, eventually moving to NIBSC after periods of postdoctoral research in molecular genetics at the University of Sheffield and the Friedrich Miescher Institut in Basel. During the late 1990s, when new conjugate vaccines were being introduced, he headed the laboratory responsible for the control and standardisation of meningococcal and pneumococcal vaccines. Ian continues to oversee an active research programme on the molecular genetics and immunology of meningococcal antigens. Because of his broad experience of bacterial vaccines and molecular biology, he has been closely involved with a number of meningococcal vaccine developments. He regularly contributes to WHO and EU guidelines, has been an advisor to the International Vaccine Institute’s typhoid conjugate vaccine initiative, and serves on the PHE’s invasive bacterial diseases forum. He is one of NIBSC’s observers on Joint Vaccination and Immunisation Committee (JCVI) and a member of the JCVI subgroups on meningococcal and pneumococcal vaccines. He is a former editor of the Journal of Applied Microbiology and is currently an associate editor of Human Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics. He has over 100 publications most of which are peer reviewed research papers. Ian teaches on vaccine related courses in the University of London and at the University of Surrey, and is a Visiting Professor at Imperial College.

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    Mike Dempsey

    Committee Member

    Mike’s interest in microbiology began when he was about 10 and his grandmother bought him a toy microscope. Thanks to an inspirational teacher, he did a specialist A-level unit in microbiology at De la Salle College, Salford, but it was not until he reached university that he really became interested in the subject. Following a highly successful MSc in Biodeterioration of Materials under the charismatic Gareth Jones, Mike stayed on at Portsmouth Polytechnic to do a PhD in marine bacterial fouling. This project was funded by Hempel Marine Paints and kicked off with a course on antifouling paint technology in Copenhagen, the company’s headquarters. It also involved an interesting evening with the marine testing station staff, sampling local fermentation products! Mike went on to use adhesive yeast and bacteria in the development of a fluidized bed fermenter for fuel ethanol production as a Postdoc in Bernard Atkinson’s inspiring Biochemical Engineering Group at UMIST. Following appointment as a Lecturer in the burgeoning Biology Department at Manchester Polytechnic, Mike designed a new Fermentation Laboratory and continued his research on fuel ethanol production. Due to waning interest in fuel Mike switched his interest to enzyme, antibiotic, and plant secondary metabolite production. Later, Mike instituted a project to develop an expanded bed biofilm reactor to nitrify wastewater treatment plant effluents as a tertiary treatment. The success of this project led to the incorporation of a spin-out company, Advanced Bioprocess Development Ltd. (ABD), which now has a full-scale prototype operated at a UK water company site by a Licensee. Mike joined SfAM in 2008 and the Meetings Subcommittee in 2010, to help develop the environmental microbiology area of the Society.

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    Simon Gould

    Committee Member

    Simon started his career in microbiology at CPA laboratory, a small independent food and water analytic lab whilst at college and it was here that he developed an interest in microbiology. Simon then completed both a BSc and MSc in Biomedical Science at Kingston University, followed by a PhD at the same institution, working on examining the characteristic between clinical isolates of methicillin resistant - and -sensitive Staphylococcus aureus collected from both UK and Maltese hospitals. Simon then carried out a three year post-doc with Professor Declan Naughton and Prof. Mark Fielder on the antimicrobial property of natural product and copper against a range of clinical important bacteria. In 2009 he started as lecturer at Kingston University and became senior Lecturer of Microbiology in 2011.

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    Andrew Sails

    Meetings subcomittee

    Andy is a Consultant Clinical Scientist at the Health Protection Agency Laboratory in Newcastle upon Tyne where he is Head of Molecular Diagnostics and Research and Development. His main responsibilities are the management and scientific leadership of the molecular diagnostic laboratory and all of the research and development (R&D) activities in the regional HPA laboratory. He began his microbiology career in 1991 as a trainee Biomedical Scientist at Preston Public Health Laboratory. Further postgraduate study at Preston resulted in a Masters degree in Biomedical Science and then a PhD which he completed in 2000. He then left the UK and undertook postdoctoral research at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, USA. He returned to the UK in 2003 to take up his current post at Newcastle, where he leads the development and evaluation of new technology and methods for microbiological diagnosis, identification and typing within the laboratory. His main research interests include the detection and epidemiological fingerprinting of pathogens and the application of molecular diagnostic methods to clinical microbiology to aid the diagnosis and management of infectious disease. He also is a part-time lecturer at the University of Northumbria where he teaches Biomedical Science. He has served on several editorial boards including Journal of Clinical Microbiology, Journal of Applied and Environmental Microbiology and the Journal of Open Microbiology. He has been a member of the Society since 1996 and joined the Executive Committee of the Society in 2005, serving as an Ordinary Member until 2008 before becoming the Honorary Meetings Secretary in 2009. When he is not working he enjoys spending time with his family on their allotment, playing the guitar, mandolin and banjo, and socializing with friends and family.

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    Sally Cutler

    Committee Member

    Sally's passion for microbiology started with a BSc degree course from University College London from which she graduated in 1981. Sally then worked in diagnostic bacteriology laboratories at The Royal London and Stoke Mandeville Hospitals before moving into a research role on Lyme borreliosis based at Charing Cross Hospital (now part of Imperial College London). Whilst in this post, Sally obtained her PhD in 1992 through part-time study. She continued her postdoctoral research on spirochaetes but switching towards those causing relapsing fever. Following these studies Sally was awarded the W H Pierce Prize in 1994. Sally subsequently moved to the Veterinary Laboratories Agency, Weybridge in 2002, where she broadened her research interests to include other bacterial zoonoses such as Brucella, Leptospira, and Coxiella. From this post she has moved into academia in 2007, where she currently holds a Readership in the School of Health and Bioscience at the University of East London. She additionally serves as an associate editor for Clinical Microbiology & Infection and for Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases, as a member of the IBMS Virology Advisory Panel, and on the IBMS London Regional Panel. Her research interests are still largely focussed upon spirochaetes and bacterial zoonoses, particularly those with an impact upon developing countries. Sally has been a member of SfAM since the days when it was the Society for Applied Bacteriology. She currently serves on the Meetings Subcommittee and has been a regular participant at SfAM meetings for a number of years, both as a presenter and member of the audience.

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    John Threlfall

    Policy Subcommittee Member

    Since being awarded a PhD in Microbial Genetics in 1969, John Threlfall has worked in the UK Health Protection Agency (HPA) (formerly the Public Health Laboratory Service, now Public Health England) in a variety of roles. Most recently he served as Director of the HPA Laboratory of Enteric Pathogens from 2004 to 2008 and as Head of R & D in the Gastrointestinal, Emerging and Zoonotic Infections Department from 2008 to 2010. In 2007 he was appointed Project Director for the EU-funded Med-Vet-Net Network of Excellence, and continued in this role in the Med-Vet-Net Association until 2011. From 2010 to 2012 John was employed as Programme Manager for the HPA for the EU-funded EURLOP (EU Human Reference Microbiology Options Project) and ECDC-funded EU-LabCAT project, which were targeted at rationalising various aspects of human reference microbiology within the EU. The recommendations from these projects are currently being implemented. He was appointed to the European Food Safety (EFSA) Biohazards (BIOHAZ) Panel in 2009 and has recently been elected for a second three-year term of office. His principal interests are in antimicrobial drug resistance in bacterial zoonotic pathogens and the molecular epidemiology of food-borne zoonoses, and has published extensively in these areas.

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    Aled Roberts

    ECS Chair

    Aled completed his undergraduate degree in Microbiology (Cardiff University) in 2009 which included an industrial placement year with Pfizer’s Bioprocess Development Group at their European research headquarters. Aled then went onto complete a PhD in Microbiology in Prof. Rose Cooper’s lab (University of Wales Institute, Cardiff) in 2013, looking at the inhibition of Pseudomonas aeruginosa by manuka honey. During this period he became acquainted with various members of the ECS committee whilst attending both ECS and SfAM events. Aled went on to complete a Post-Doc in Dr. Steve Diggle’s lab in 2015, looking at the evolution of biofilms and their 3D-spatial structure before returning to Cardiff. He's currently looking into the effects of manuka honey on Cystic Fibrosis pathogens in Dr. Rowena Jenkins’ lab. Aled joined the ECS committee September 2014 as an events officer and became ECS Chair following the conclusion of the 2016 ECS Research Conference.

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    James Williamson

    ECS Secretary

    James is currently a Post doc at the University of Warwick, focusing on engineering environmental bacteria for the utilisation of waste plant material, with an aim to produce high value products. As a PhD student at the University of Nottingham, his research centred on trying to integrate high value plant chemical biosynthetic pathways into carotenogenic members of the Enterobacteriaceae. His research interests include industrial biotechnology and synthetic biology. James joins the ECS after attending several of their events and observing how the group makes such a difference to the microbiology community. TWITTER: @JamesJW90

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    Lucy Harper

    Chief Executive

    After completing a BSc in Medical Biochemistry at Birmingham University, Lucy worked in hospital laboratories and university departments across the West Midlands. In 2003 she completed a PhD entitled: "Renal Dopamine and Salt-Sensitive Hypertension" and continued her research career, completing several postdoc projects. During this time, Lucy also taught molecular biology practical classes to final year BSc students and spent her spare time writing articles for various publications. Through this experience she decided that her passion for science came from talking about it rather than doing it. She was offered the honorary Editorship of Microbiologist magazine and when her postdoc contract ended, she took the position of Communications Officer for Med-Vet-Net, the EU FP6 project on zoonotic disease. Lucy began working as Communications Officer for SfAM in June 2006. Since then, she has developed SfAMs Communications remit and in June 2009 she was promoted to Communications Manager. In 2010 Lucy was awarded a MBA with distinction, which she completed part-time at Aston University. After a period of maternity leave, Lucy returned to the Society as Deputy CEO, and was then appointed as Chief Executive in November 2014.

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    Laura Lincoln

    Events and Projects Manager

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    Paul Sainsbury

    Head of Communications and Business Development & Editor of Microbiologist

    Paul initially trained as a journalist and has over ten years’ experience in marketing and communications working for commercial companies such as Harrods and the Freeplay wind-up radio. His passion for science comms took him back to University and he graduated with a BSc First Class (Hons) in Chemistry where he studied the inhibition of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase in malaria parasites as part of his final year dissertation. He later gained a distinction in his Master’s degree at King’s College London in Analytical Toxicology where he worked on the synthesis and analytical profiling of novel monoamine neurotransmitter reuptake inhibitors. Paul completed a PhD at the University of Warwick entitled “Biocatalytic Valorisation of Lignin via Genetic or Chemical Intervention of Bacterial Aromatic Degradation Pathways” and has published a number of scientific papers and articles on his speciality of human and bacterial enzymology. Paul is responsible for the development and implementation of marketing, communications and membership strategies for the Society. He is also responsible for increasing the value of Member benefits through the development of key partnerships, digital platforms, public engagement activities and brand management. He also offers support to the SfAM's ECS Committee and Corporate Member Group.

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Microbiologist Editorial Group

The Microbiologist Ediorial Group meets three times a year and is responsible for planning all contents of Microbiologist Magazine. The group is chaired by the Head of Communications and Business Development and comprises seven elected members of the Society.

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    Paul Sainsbury

    Head of Communications and Business Development & Editor of Microbiologist

    Paul initially trained as a journalist and has over ten years’ experience in marketing and communications working for commercial companies such as Harrods and the Freeplay wind-up radio. His passion for science comms took him back to University and he graduated with a BSc First Class (Hons) in Chemistry where he studied the inhibition of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase in malaria parasites as part of his final year dissertation. He later gained a distinction in his Master’s degree at King’s College London in Analytical Toxicology where he worked on the synthesis and analytical profiling of novel monoamine neurotransmitter reuptake inhibitors. Paul completed a PhD at the University of Warwick entitled “Biocatalytic Valorisation of Lignin via Genetic or Chemical Intervention of Bacterial Aromatic Degradation Pathways” and has published a number of scientific papers and articles on his speciality of human and bacterial enzymology. Paul is responsible for the development and implementation of marketing, communications and membership strategies for the Society. He is also responsible for increasing the value of Member benefits through the development of key partnerships, digital platforms, public engagement activities and brand management. He also offers support to the SfAM's ECS Committee and Corporate Member Group.

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    Louise Hill-King

    Regular Content Editor

    Louise is a Senior Biomedical Scientist in the Microbiology Department at Frimley Park Hospital, Surrey. She graduated from the University of Sheffield in 1987 with a BSc in Chemistry and Astronomy. This raised the eyebrows of her tutor (a certain Philip Wheat) when she enrolled onto the MSc course in Medical Microbiology at Sheffield. She hasn't escaped from Medical Microbiology since. Apart from a year as a Research Scientist for Cambridge Life Sciences in Ely, she has spent all of her working life in NHS laboratories in Sheffield, Leeds, Morley and now Frimley. Louise runs lunchtime Continuing Professional Development meetings in her own laboratory and is involved with Wessex Applied Microbiologists (WAM), organizing evening meetings across central, southern England. Her main role is validation and implementation of new methods. She was volunteered onto the Publications Subcommittee by a grammatically challenged SfAM committee member. They were tired of having their spelling corrected so thought they’d direct her attention elsewhere! Louise's role on the Subcommittee is Grants Editor, editing reports submitted by those who’ve been awarded SfAM grants to attend meetings/courses/conferences they wouldn’t have otherwise been able to attend.

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    Nicola Stanley-Wall

    Features Editor

    Nicola received her PhD from the University of East Anglia in 2000 and was an EMBO Long term fellow at the University of California at Los Angeles where she was based from 2001-2005. Following being awarded a BBSRC David Phillips Fellowship she moved to the College of Life Sciences within the University of Dundee to establish her own research team. She is interested in how single celled bacteria can act at as a multicellular community to inhabit and exploit their environment. She uses a range of molecular biology techniques alongside biophysics, mathematical modelling and high powered microscopy to achieve this. She is interested in public understanding of science and always has a communication project on the go! She was promoted to Professor of Molecular Microbiology in 2015 at the University of Dundee.

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    Ayuen Lual

    Features Editor

    yuen graduated from the University of Southampton in 1999 with a BSc in Biochemistry before joining the Public Health Laboratory Service in 2001 as a Healthcare Scientist in the Food, Water and Environmental (FWE) Laboratory at Southampton General Hospital. Ayuen completed an MSc in Public Health Science (Food and Drinking Water) with the University of Hertfordshire in 2009 at the then Health Protection Agency (HPA) FWE laboratory in Colindale, London. Since 2011 Ayuen has worked for Public Health England (formerly HPA) as a Standards Microbiologist producing UK Standards for Microbiology Investigations a collection of documents (laboratory methods, algorithms and guidance notes) for use in clinical microbiology laboratories. She has been involved with the introduction of patient and public involvement in the development of UK SMIs. In 2012 Ayuen participated in the HPA Microbiology Services Olympics and Paralympics response team. Ayuen has been a member of SfAM since 2008. She is a Registered Scientist and member of the Institute of Food Science and Technology and the European Society for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Disease, and an affiliate member of The Royal College of Pathologists. Her interests span method development and standardisation with a focus on scientific communication and public engagement.

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    Brendan Gilmore

    Contributing Editor of Microbiologist

    Brendan graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Pharmacy (1999) and a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry (2004) from Queen’s University Belfast. He was appointed to a Lectureship in Pharmaceutics (Pharmaceutical Microbiology) in July 2004 in the School of Pharmacy at Queen’s. In 2005 he was a visiting researcher in the laboratory of Prof Howard Ceri, University of Calgary, where he remains a visiting scientist in the Biofilm Research Group. He was promoted to Professor of Pharmaceutical Microbiology in 2015. His research aims to elucidate the mechanistic and biochemical pathways central to the process of microbial biofilm formation and to uncover novel targets for prevention of microbial biofilms; spanning microbiology, chemical biology, and synthetic/medicinal chemistry directed toward antimicrobial and anti-biofilm applications. His main interests include the role of proteolytic enzymes in biofilm formation and development of novel approaches for biofilm control in chronic infections. He has an active research interest in antibiotic biodiscovery from marine bacteria and achaea (extreme halophiles). Brendan is the 2013 recipient of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Science Award for his research contributions in the field of biofilm control and pharmaceutical microbiology. He is an editor of the textbook ‘Hugo & Russell’s Pharmaceutical Microbiology’ (8th Ed) and is responsible for teaching all aspects of pharmaceutical microbiology and infectious diseases to undergraduate pharmacy students at QUB.

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    Elaine Cloutman-Green

    Committee Member

    Dr Elaine Cloutman-Green has worked as a Clinical Scientist since 2004. In 2015 she completed a PhD under the NIHR CSO Doctoral Fellowship scheme and her research on prevention of healthcare associated infection led to an NIHR ICA Clinical Lectureship award in 2016. In 2015 she was appointed the first UK based International Ambassador for the Society of Healthcare Epidemiology of America. In 2016 she became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Royal College of Pathologists and was appointed as a NICE Expert. She represents Healthcare Scientists as part of the ACB, and as Country Ambassador for the American Society of Microbiology.

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    Nick Jakubovics

    Features Editor

    Nick graduated from the University of Cambridge in 1994 with a BSc in Natural Sciences (Biochemistry). He switched to the field of Applied Microbiology for a PhD at Warwick University studying the growth of biofilms in tap water drinking distribution systems. Upon completing the PhD in 1998, Nick moved to Prof. Howard Jenkinson’s lab at the University of Bristol. In two successive Post-Doctoral positions, Nick first identified a novel manganese-dependent regulator in the oral bacterium Streptococcus gordonii, and then established a heterologous cell surface protein expression system for characterising the functions of different members of a key family of streptococcal cell surface adhesins. In 2000, Nick received a Colgate Research Award to visit Dr Paul Kolenbrander’s lab at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD. This visit ultimately lead to an NIH Fellowship from 2004-2007, where Nick worked in the Kolenbrander lab studying gene regulation in oral bacteria during the formation of mixed-species communities. In 2007, Nick secured a lectureship in Oral Microbiology at Newcastle University School of Dental Sciences, where he has set up an active research laboratory focussed on the nature of the oral biofilm matrix and on gene regulation during the early steps of dental plaque accumulation. Nick has been a member of SfAM since 2007. He was awarded the New Lecturer Grant in 2010 to support his work on the role of extracellular DNA in oral biofilms. He joined the SfAM Executive Committee in Autumn 2011 and is on the Microbiologist Editorial Group, which oversees the production of the Society’s magazine.

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    Clare Taylor

    General Secretary and Chair of the Policy Subcommittee

    Clare has been a Society member since 1997, when she was a PhD student at the University of Manchester. She is currently a Senior Lecturer in Medical Microbiology at Edinburgh Napier University, where she is also Head of Student Experience and Employability in the School of Life, Sport & Social Sciences. The main focus of her research is on understanding host-microbe interactions, particularly of intracellular bacteria that cause human infection, and the aims of her research are to understand how bacterial gene expression is modulated in response to the host environment, and how this contributes to microbial pathogenicity. Clare is also involved in several multi-disciplinary projects and the applied aspects of her research include developing novel antimicrobial strategies. She has a keen interest in public engagement, including performing at Edinburgh Fringe, and also chairs the University’s Public Engagement Forum. Clare is active in encouraging women into science working alongside colleagues across STEM disciplines and Equate Scotland. Clare served on the Executive Committee of the Society from 2010 – 2014 and is also a Features Editor for Microbiologist.

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The Society’s governing documents are the Memorandum and Articles of Association, which provide the charitable objectives and legal and operational governance requirements of the Society’s activities.

There is an Annual General Meeting (AGM) of members, which is currently held during the Annual Conference, each July.


A PDF of our latest Annual Report can be accessed here and previous reports can be accessed by searching for the relevant year in the resources section of the site or by using the search icon at the top. You will need Adobe Acrobat to view these files.

06 Nov 2018

Annual Report 2017